My life once upon a time was run on a schedule of 30 minute segments. This is how I worked for years, trying hard to meet the appointment schedule, sometimes falling short for a multitude of reasons. This meant the next person had to wait. This was never comfortable for me or my client, and often was the angst in my day. I assume for the client it was too. A few years back I traded in that lifestyle. Fortunate to be able to make such a choice, I embraced living more off the clock. Life changing it has been! Yet reality is our culture operates often by schedule, and the need to be timely is often present. So the other day while helping another with transportation needs I found my self sitting in a car waiting longer than planned. After responding to emails, playing with photo files, and checking the weather my patience virtue began to poke at me. I put the screen away, closing my eyes for a few minutes, not to sleep but to just get quiet. How surprised I was when I next looked out, seeing this suddenly transformed enchanted forest before me! My experiential take away: there is magic in the waiting when I allow stillness to speak.
An old Doug Fir much like this one will to be dropped in our front yard today. Last growing season it looked good. No sign of the stress it had endured with the construction project that swirled around it the year before. We were surprised as it’s surrounding ground cover was all but gone and the drought and heat that summer was unbearable at times. It was no longer in its element, shaded by trees to the west, as it stood fully exposed now. This spring we noticed the needles begin to brown. Soon after a strong wind showered the ground beneath its weathered trunk, laying out a blanket of gold needles. Within a few days it was clear it had died, its roots too tired to take in what was needed to sustain it’s 40′ growth. After felling, it will still provide. The wood will be used to heat a friend’s home next winter, with a few cut rounds saved for something to be crafted from. We are grateful. The other day I noticed mushrooms growing near the base, another sign that underground the soil composition is changing. Last year we planted a small evergreen nearby this now dead Fir. It will not produce the same stature in our life time, yet we see this as being good stewards of the land; cut a tree, plant a tree. Perhaps as happened to me this moment captured with lens, someday another will look up and delight in the dancing light while the sun plays nature’s game of peek-a-boo.
I have stood here more times than I can count. Especially in the change of season I am drawn here. Floating the creek, climbing to the nearby look out in the background, walking the banks, or simply standing on this point just above the water; from any given perspective my mind calms with each breath, my eyes take in the landscape, and my heart experiences a great love.